Itchy Thumbs

Completing games then reviewing them

Archive for March, 2010

Bayonetta

Posted by D on March 11, 2010

And now, a song:

Bayonetta,
I would let ‘er,
Fondle my special magical place

I know, don’t all call at once but I can be available to write the libretto for your next musical work.

she's coming to get ya.Bayonetta is the latest batshit lunacy crushingly hard 3D brawler to emerge from Japan for teh 360 and teh PS3. It features the same over the top nonsense and inscrutable plot that it’s Devil May Cry predecessors sport and it’s really not a great departure from it’s lineage. The main difference is that you’re a witch, a sexy, sexy witch, who kills angels and can’t remember who she is and from there the plot goes on to make no sense.  And maybe you like that sort of thing and maybe you’re some kind of Wapanese motherfucker. Nevertheless here are some questions to ponder: Who is the fat guy with the New York accent, who appears at the start and isn’t seen again until the closing animation? Who exactly is the weapon vendor? Why does Bayonetta even know these people? And those are just the reasonable questions you might ask about the plot. By and large it’s best to leave your brain at the door and ignore the plot and the dialogue as best you can.

So, it’s thankful that the game is a flawlessly executed triumph of game design, fluid control mechanics and level design. And that would be great if any of those things were actually true. Ok, that’s a little harsh, it’s well executed, it is fun to play but what’s there almost exactly three times longer than it needs be. After you’ve killed the same monsters over and over, in more or less the same way each time, it really starts to drag and by the time you get to that point the game is showing no real signs of letting up. None of which is helped by the fact that the plot makes no sense so you never have any idea where you might be in the story.

I ran through a whole arc of emotion with this game. It starts strong, it’s weird, it’s fun, the combat is fairly tight, the camera requires a little more micro-management than you might like. It’s hard but it’s not trying to extinguish your will to live (I’m looking at you Ninja Gaiden). And Bayonetta with her infeasibly long legs and bikini style nudity is kind of arousing. I mean, playing computer games while being sexually stimulated; what more could you want? I haven’t been that aroused since the invention of vibrating controllers, if you know what I’m sayin’.

Following on from the exciting beginning is a really strong early to middle phase, combat mechanics and new monsters are introduced fairly regularly, the level of challenge has a steep learning curve. All-in-all it’s rather engaging while you learn to master the underlying mechanics. But the sad thing about it is that after such a strong opening, once you broach the half way point the game sails straight on through to the cool still waters of the flat repetitively tedious sea. The latter half of the game devolves down to a series of unduly frustrating boss fights, which make no sense, punctuated with wave upon wave of the same MOBs you’ve been killing over and over and over. It just becomes boring. I grinded out the final levels all the time wishing I were somewhere else more fun and more amusing.

The boss design is simply bad. Later on it’s close to impossible to work out when or what can be hit. They do so much damage that one or two miss steps and you’re dead, which necessitates a time consuming game reload event. By the end I stopped trying to figure them out and just reached for gamefaqs and if that’s the deal then it’s a big Boss design fail.

Give me a western style brawler any day. Hasten to me God of War III

P.S. Final Fantasy XIII when will it end?

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